This week we asked:
Has Clint Frazier finally arrived? Predict Clint’s final 2020 season stats and tell us where he will be playing on Opening Day 2021.
Here are the responses from our writers:
Paul Semendinger – Yes. I think Clint has reached the Major Leagues for good. With a bat like his, the Yankees cannot keep him off the big league roster any longer. Frazier’s great bat, along with Giancarlo Stanton’s and Aaron Judge’s injury history, keeps him in the lineup for the rest of the season.
In 2020, Frazier will hit .275/9/33
Frazier will be a Yankee in 2021. Next year will be the year he really breaks out batting .290 and hitting well over 30 homers.
Mike Whiteman – I think Frazier will slash .290/.340/.500 this year in about 20-25 games.
Opening Day 2021 will find him in Pinstripes, part of the left field/right field/DH mix. While I know there’s a temptation to deal him for pitching, this is the second year in a row Frazier has provided a lift after Judge/Stanton injuries. The Yankees need to be very considerate of this before dealing Frazier.
Lincoln Mitchell – The Yankees handling of Clint Frazier has been baffling. Had they just stuck him in left field beginning in 2018 instead of letting the Marlins dump Giancarlo Stanton’s salary on the team, they would have been better off. If they didn’t want to play Frazier, they should have traded him when his value was high. I think he has arrived and will end up hitting around .280/.320/.520 in 120 plate appearances, but he will not be in the Opening Day lineup in 2021 either due to injury or another strange Yankees rationalization.
Ed Botti –
Frazier can hit, no doubt. It would be unreasonable to predict 2020 based on his first 3 or 4 games, so far. But, based on his small track record and seeing the results of hard work in the minors, at this stage of his career, his pitch recognition ability, and hand speed, there is no reason why he can’t hit in the .270 – .280 range with 5 or so home runs over the remainder of this 60 game season. Its possible he does better based on the expanded roster effect of him facing pitchers that should not be at the MLB level yet.
Defensively, he appears more comfortable in the outfield.
In 2021 he will be in left field on opening day. Hopefully in the Bronx, and without a mask. He is ready for a job in MLB, and should have broke camp with the Yanks. I hope they keep him.
James Vlietstra – I believe Frazier remains in the outfield/ DH rotation for the rest of the year
Playing time will still be tough to get once Judge returns, but should start along with Hicks and Tauchman and Gardner coming in as a defensive replacement late in games until then. I could see a slash line of 290/380/480/860 with 7 home runs and 25 RBI.
With the proposed universal DH , the NL teams should be salivating over a young, controllable player like Frazier. The Yankees have three impending free agent starters. I see Frazier being used, possibly along with Andujar to bring in a top tier starter. Tauchman, Hicks, and Judge will be the primary starting outfield with Florial pushing for playing time next year.
Ethan Semendinger – Clint Frazier has such a quick bat and great swing that he simply must play. Looking at his Statcast metrics so far in 2020, he is averaging an Exit Velo of 95.1 MPH which goes a long way towards increase BABIP and his all-around offensive profile. I think the Yankees know this and realize that he isn’t going to get any better playing in the minor leagues. (Plus his defense is looking fine this year.)
For this season, I can’t see how Frazier doesn’t stay with the team (even after Judge and/or Stanton return), most likely getting reps in LF over Gardy and subbing in RF for Judge who should mainly DH before Stanton gets back. If this allows him to, I could see that he plays in ~85-90% of the games for the 2020 Yankees the rest of the way. A triple-slash of .275/.330/.500 with 8 home runs the rest of the way sounds reasonable.
For 2021, I think Frazier will be the starting LF’er for the Yankees with Hicks in CF, and Judge in RF. think this also sets up a potential story-line between Tauchman and Florial for who may win the back-up CF/4 games a week OF spot come 2021.